The Office of Capital Defense Counsel was established by the Capital Defense Litigation Act of 2000 in order to "provide representation to indigent parties under indictment for death penalty eligible offenses."
Since then, the office has assumed representation in over 230 death penalty-eligible cases at the trial level and over 30 death penalty cases on direct appeal. Twelve of the trial level cases were without local counsel requiring the assignment of two attorneys from the office. The office has also consulted on many more cases at trial and appeal level and provided training programs.
Effective July 1, 2011, Capital Defense Counsel became a division of the Mississippi State Public Defender.
Capital Defense continues the mission of providing high quality representation in cases assigned by the State Defender as well as assisting the Defender Training Division with capital defense training programs as well as technical assistance to attorneys in other areas such as forensic science and mental health issues.